Ottawa, June 5 (P L) Cuba has officially protested to Canadian authorities over the closing of Canadian immigration services in Cuba, Josefina Vidal, Cuban ambassador, said.
She expressed that the reason for the measure was the mysterious problems suffered by several Canadian diplomats based in Cuba since 2017 and that they initially attributed to ‘acoustic attacks’.
What we cannot understand is to make a decision of this magnitude with the consequences on relations, without evidence of what is the cause of the illnesses that Canadian diplomats have reported? There is no evidence that Cuba is not a safe country,’ Vidal said in her statements.
In assessing the consequences of these embassy closings, the diplomat pointed out that Cubans have to travel twice, at a high cost, to a Canadian embassy in another country, Mexico, for example, to obtain a Canadian visa. This measure affects hundreds of people, including Canadians with their children, who have a member of the Cuban family.
I add that Canada reproduced the U.S. model that, from Donald Trump, forces Cubans who want a U.S. visa to visit a U.S. embassy in a third country, for example, Colombia.
The reduction in Canadian embassy staff has other serious effects, according to the ambassador.
For example, she said, ‘we don’t have anyone responsible for trade in Cuba, and it is very important for our relations. We no longer have a development aid officer. […] and more recently, the decision to close the visa office. As a result, we have a weak Canadian embassy.
All of this will have an effect on the relations between the two countries, which until then, according to Josefina Vidal, were excellent: bilateral trade, development aid, investments, growing in 2018.